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A New Look at an Old Devil

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“Love is a devil.” – Love’s labours Lost.

“For use can almost change the stamp of nature and either master the devil or throw him out with wondrous potency.” – Hamlet.

“He needs a long spoon that would sup with the devil” – Comedy of Errors.

Shakespeare was no stranger to the use of the word devil. It appears a total of 225 times across each of his plays, and in no instance does the usage impart a positive meaning.

When Liz Greene published her book Saturn: A New Look at an Old Devil, she not only did something to rehabilitate the scary word, but she planted the seed of the development of psychological astrology, the book is reviewed here.

And the Devil as painted by Pamela Coleman-Smith is said to be based on the God Pan, and he rules the sign of Capricorn.

Capricorn goes from 21st December to 20th January

The two of pentacles is Jupiter in Capricorn. Zeus meets Chronus, and they have a long history those two. Expansiveness meets responsibility. Celebration meets achievement. Success meets disciplined effort.

As with all the twos in the deck a decision or a transition is at hand. The puzzle of it is, the mobius strip, and the reference to infinity. To say nothing of the fact that this is one of Ms. Coleman-Smiths front cloth cards. But something is changing, moving, growing, transforming.

Mars in Capricorn. Here is desire, drive, ambition, all expressed in craft and co-operation. The apprentice studies, mastery is some way off, but long and diligent practice under time, and the novice becomes the master mason. Rarely is Mars as controlled, as directed, as useful as this. How will this crafty accomplishment manifest?

Is this the card that build the great gothic cathedrals of Europe with their vaulting aspiration, transforming filigree in stone into sunlight and etherial sound?

The late British writer and poet, William Anderson wrote a poem called Salamander. It’s in a volume called the Waking Dream and out of print, I don’t have it or I’d publish it here – but if you ever come across it, you’ll see what I mean about this card.

A man, he’s a prince or a king, clings on to four coins. The Sun in Capricorn. His measly wealth is so married to his identity he daren’t let go. This is poverty consciousness, the man who has everything and who also has nothing. And that skyline in the background, kinda looks like Manhattan, do you agree. Maybe greed isn’t so good?

Or… he could loosen up and go with the magician’s dictum, “I have nothing of my own; I have everything I need.”

Then he could smell the flowers, taste the coffee, take a walk in the park…




Can you direct me to the centre of the galaxy, please?

Sure … look at the Sun anytime between now and the 21st December, while it is in Sagittarius, and you’ll be looking in the direction of the middle of the Milky Way.

Sagittarius is a fire sign and its mode is mutable. Enthusiastic Sagittarians can be adaptable, flexible, improvisational.

        8 of Wands                                      9 of Wands                             10 of Wands

     Mercury in Sag                               Moon in Sag                           Saturn in Sag


      Lord of Swiftness             Lord of Great Strength          Lord of Oppression

Notice that in 2 of the 3 cards above there is a horizontal line above the feet. Ms. Coleman-Smith the artist of these cards worked as a theatrical designer. Is that a theatrical reference? A front cloth that can be flown out revealing the stage beyond (and maybe what’s really going on)?

Half horse half human, Sagittarians can also be party monsters. Unless you get them when they’re connecting with their philosophical quest. At that point an angel may be around.

Daughter of the Reconcilers, Bringer Forth of Life

(I love that title)

Should I Consult The Cards?

The Page of Swords is one who likes to question, to gather information: … Here we continue the occasional ongoing conversation …

60I’m curious, but I’m also skeptical.

Me too.

I want to know what the stars and the cards can show me …

Right …

But I don’t know if I should …

Ah …

But if I don’t, I’ll never know.

There is that.

The Man on the Mountain

f63465bf637c06b569cfc1cb77afb829 (1)In times before jet-speed travel, and all the tiresome procedures at airports, it used to be said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

Nowadays it’s more likely to begin with air miles and online booking.

The man on the mountain doesn’t look too bothered by externals.

Nevertheless, what does the lantern illumine?

The next step?



Respect for Air

swords14The King of Swords knows air. Air is breath. Magical air is mind. Clean air; clear thinking.

I was in the last foul ‘pea-soup’ fog in London, in 1963. It was thick dark yellowish toxic brown. It took life.

Several British monarchs grappled with the effects of burning coal in London, beginning with King Edward I, 14th century, right through to several governments under Queen Elizabeth II, 20th/21st century.

After almost 700 years of frequent, deadly, poisoned air, the answer became apparent.

Guess what it was: if your answer is correct, you win a buy-one-get-one-free consultation. Contact for details.

Here’s a clue: when they stopped burning a certain substance, pretty soon people could breathe again.

The Planet Mercury Doesn’t Hang About

Mercury SpinWhen it comes to orbital motion, Mercury fairly nips around the Sun. A year on Mercury takes a mere 88 Earth days. It used to be thought that Mercury’s axial spin was equal to the orbital period — in other words that the same side of the planet always faced the Sun, as with the Moon relative to the Earth. Now we know that for every two Mercurial years, there are three Mercurial days.

Three times in an Earth year Mercury appears to move backwards along its orbit. This is an optical illusion, of course, caused by our fixed perspective from the Earth’s own orbit. Astrologers know that retrograde Mercurial periods can be times of mis-communication here on Earth. There can be lost letters, un-returned emails, dust-ups with loved ones, funny business while traveling, and other Mercurial mischief … positive uses of these times can include, but are not limited to, checking the details, catching up on the filing, editing the manuscript and re-scheduling the extreme sports holiday.

There’s astronomical data on Mercury and other celestial bodies here. And you can get the astrological perspective here, at Astro — If you scroll down when you get there, you’ll see that at the time of writing, Mercury is in Pisces (but not for long). A good time to broach sensitive subjects possibly?

Called Mercury by the Romans, Hermes by the Greeks, the trickster God appears in Shakespeare as Ariel in The Tempest, and as Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. And I guess The Donkey in Shrek would have a prominent Mercury in his chart.